From the Land Down Under, a Showcase of Australian Talent

Aussie host Nick Hardcastle and singer Talia Di Guilio.

Aussie host Nick Hardcastle and singer Talia Di Guilio.

The “Sunday in Hollywood” showcase of Australian talent had a party atmosphere that confirmed the fact that Aussies have a knack for having a good time. It also proved there’s a lot of talent from the land Down Under who now call Hollywood home.

That revelation came at the event presented by the American Australian Association and host Nick Hardcastle. Hugh Jackman and Nicole Kidman weren’t there, but Hardcastle promised we’d see, “The next Hugh Jackman and the next Nicole Kidman ready to follow in their footsteps. This show features the most exciting emerging and established Australian artists in town.” Nick wasn’t kidding, because there were terrific singers, dancers, comics, a fitness trainer, and even a humorous burlesque performer, Lyra La Belle, to start off the Aussies’ cabaret night at the famous supperclub/Writer’s Room on Hollywood Boulevard.

Nick started off by announcing, “We’re off to the races. Hot on the heels of our hugely successful debut event in June, our second event is filled with fabulous talent, fun, fashion, and a little horseplay to celebrate the Melbourne Cup.” He actually did a song and dance number with two showgirls dressed like race horses.

Also entertaining at the party were musician songwriter Dean O’Leary, rocker Steve Cooke, comedian Monty Franklin, singer Amy Edwards, singer/musician Sam Clark, and a “Fire and Ice” choreographed performance by Dani Swan and Lindsay Covarrubias.

Pretty young singer Talia Di Guilio grew up in Sydney doing a lot of stage shows and has Disney Channel’s High School Musical as part of her TV credits. She wowed the crowd with her voice. Pianist Tom Griep showed off his skills at the keyboard. The reception band was called Mango Dreamers and they had great original tunes that their mates enjoyed.

Some audience participation was required with former Wallaby personal trainer Luke Milton showing off his knack for motivating people to get fit. “Hey mates, I’m the training mate that gets you moving,” he told everyone. Milton recently appeared on the CBS daytime chat show The Talk and made quite an impression on the gals there.

It was a pleasure to discover that Nick Hardcastle, who works with KCET, is not only a great emcee and comedian, but also a fine singer. He did a powerful number from the musical The Scarlet Pimpernel. He’s a popular Australian TV personality who did the New South Wales series Home and Away.

Nick kept the show moving and fun, and explained that the “Sunday in Hollywood” show was “the LA incarnation of the successful ‘Sunday in the Apartment’ Australian talent showcase that has been running in London for three years. It hopes to nurture careers and bring ex-pats and local friends together to celebrate the Australian culture and our spirit in a unique and entertaining way.”

Not a kangaroo or koala in sight, but there were folks from the Australian consulate-general, who were having a great time along with everyone else hoping for more parties in the future. And it was nice that we didn’t need to leave town to take a trip Down Under.

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